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UK activists target radio station’s ‘Win a trip to Israel’ contest

on 36 Comments

A group of UK activists, members of the London Visual Activist Collective (LVAC), have been making inquiries after hearing several advertisements on the UK’s Magic 105.4 Magic in the Morning radio broadcast hyping a “Win a trip to Israel” contest. Wondering if these promotions, including offering Dead Sea products as prizes, might run afoul of British broadcast laws pertaining to deceptive advertising, the activists contacted the radio station with their concerns. The promotional contest is sponsored by the Israel Government Tourist Office and Monarch Airlines.

Magic reaches 1.96 million listeners every week tuning in, for a total of 10.4 million hours every week. It is a commercial market leader in adult audience, and is owned by Bauer Media, a European based media conglomerate.

Magic’s morning show already sent a team to Israel, likely at the invitation of the sponsoring parties:

Screenshot: UK’s Magic 105.4 radio website promoting "Win a trip to Israel" contest sponsored by the Israel Government Tourist Office and Monarch Airlines

Screenshot: UK’s Magic 105.4 radio website promoting “Win a trip to Israel” contest sponsored by the Israel Government Tourist Office and Monarch Airlines

The contest, prominently displayed on the radio station’s homepage, asks applicants to answer a qualifying question to enter the competition. In March of this year the UK watchdog Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) banned an Israeli Ministry of Tourism advertisement for violating the British advertising rules, called the Cap Code, for suggesting that the Old City of Jerusalem was part of Israel. The original verdict was later rescinded but activists are not backing down. Magic 105.4‘s initial qualifying question for the contest strongly suggested Jerusalem was the capitol of Israel:

Magic's Israel trip promotion

Magic 105.4 “Win a trip to Israel” contest qualifying question. (Screenshot:London Visual Activist Collective)

Someone from LVAC contacted the radio station:

What are you going to do about all the people that answered ‘Jerusalem’ to enter your Israel competition? As you are aware under International Law Jerusalem is not and cannot be recognized as Israel’s capital. There are strict rules governing competitions on Radio and TV. We believe you are in danger of breaching those rules by accepting incorrect answers as correct. But on the other hand it’s not fair to those people as the question was heavily weighted in order that people say Jerusalem.

Also are you offering Dead Sea products as prizes? I expect a speedy response on this please.

The radio station did not initially respond to the inquiry but shortly thereafter the qualifying question changed:

Magic's Israel trip qualifying question

Magic 105.4 “Win a trip to Israel” contest qualifying question replacement. (Screenshot:London Visual Activist Collective)

One of the LVAC activists, who prefers to remain anonymous, informed Mondoweiss that as well as changing the qualifying question, the radio station promptly deleted all the comments responding to the contest and promotions on the comment thread and then removed the comment section entirely. Claiming Magic was “conducting damage limitation already”, the activist explained:

All those who answered ‘Jerusalem’ in response to the qualifying question are actually incorrect and Magic cannot enter them into the competition. They have breached the rules regarding ‘Competitions’. Yet they have not confirmed to us whether they have removed those entrants.

Magic 105.4

“Israel, Where the sun never sets on Apartheid” Graphic: London Visual Activist Collective

Activists tweeted Magic screenshots of United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, one of seven UNSC resolutions condemning Israel’s attempted annexation of East Jerusalem and condemning “Israel’s 1980 Jerusalem Law which declared Jerusalem to be Israel‘s “complete and united” capital, as a violation of international law.”

Graphic: London Visual Activist Collective

Graphic: London Visual Activist Collective

Not hearing back from the Magic, LVAC activists made a formal complaint to UK communications regulator Ofcom, UK watchdog Advertising Standards Authority(ASA), and Palestine Mission in London (the highest-level representation of the Palestinian government in the UK ) and informed Magic of these notifications. Adding:

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that if any of your prizes involve travel to parts that are illegally occupied then this will also be deemed to be very provocative and a serious political issue. 

This included visits to tunnels underneath (but not limited to) the holy Al Aqsa compound and the village of Silwan. 

Today, Magic finally replied to several of the concerned activists with this statement:

Magic replies "We do not comment on political situations"

Magic replies “We do not comment on political situations”

Mondoweiss queried a LVAC activist concerning the earlier rescission of the banned Israeli Ministry of Tourism advertisement. Why do they think they might get a different result? The activist said, “We’re complaining under the political and controversial rules in Section 7 [Political and controversial matters] of the code,” adding “there is no doubt about what was implied by the “Israel’s Capital” question…. The other complaint was more of a consumer protection ruling whereas this is more political.” Either way “this is a new complaint so they must still investigate.”

Other efforts the collective is up to include getting the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and pay compensation to Palestinians. “We are organizing a demo for 1st of November and hope to make it an annual event leading up to 100 year since Balfour [in 2017].”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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36 Responses

  1. amigo
    September 30, 2015, 2:18 pm

    The zionist tentacles are everywhere.Congratulations to these people for outing thiis radio station that supports ethnic cleansing and oppression.

    And thanks to you Annie for sharing this with us.Is there a link to leave a comment to the station.

    • annie
      September 30, 2015, 2:56 pm

      i just tweeted them amigo, found their twitter feed googling magic 104.5 twitter. here it is. now bombard them everyone: @magicfm or just go here:

      • amigo
        September 30, 2015, 4:03 pm

        Thanks for the link Annie but I am still struggling with these new fandangled social media apps.

        Looks like I will have to consult the younger generation for assistance.

      • annie
        September 30, 2015, 6:31 pm

        do you have a twitter account? it’s really easy you know. click on the twitter icon on the left of the article. once you have a twitter account it automatically connects. also, the hashtag for this action is #TragicMagic


        do you know what a hashtag is?

      • amigo
        October 1, 2015, 2:21 pm

        Annie , thanks for the instruction.I promise to make mastering twitter my no 1 job this weekend.

        BTW , a “Hash-tag to me is the label customs officers use .

  2. pshoben
    September 30, 2015, 2:35 pm

    Great work LVAC and Annie :)

    • annie
      September 30, 2015, 2:57 pm

      awesome activists in the UK as you well know stan ;)

  3. Steve Grover
    Steve Grover
    September 30, 2015, 2:51 pm

    Sounds like a great trip! I know the lucky winners will have a fabulous time!

    • talknic
      September 30, 2015, 3:15 pm

      @ SG “Sounds like a great trip! “

      Uh? Only a complete moron would call a trip ‘great’ when it encompasses a visit to a war zone in territories that are quite simply NOT in the country they claim to be visiting

      The organizers will be responsible should any of their ‘lucky winners’ become embroiled in and/or victims of the violence expected when one party occupies another

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        September 30, 2015, 4:22 pm

        You can go to Israel too. But, please leave the Vegemite at home.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      September 30, 2015, 3:18 pm

      Let’s hope they get hold of some fortified Golan Heights wine to aid peace of mind, because few things will bring your mood down faster than watching young women cut down at checkpoints.

    • John O
      John O
      September 30, 2015, 3:58 pm

      Ah, the gadfly has landed.

      Yes, Steve, they will indeed have a fabulous time – bombarded with fables, myths, propaganda and legend. But reality has a way of catching the fabulists out – a knife-wielding homophobe killing a girl at the last gay pride parade; or a petrol bomb through the Dawabshe family’s window blowing up the whole world over.

      • DavidDaoud
        October 1, 2015, 11:54 am

        Never let them forget little Ali Dawabshe. Never stop reminding them about what happened to Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Both deliberately burned to death by Jewish Israeli terrorists.

  4. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    September 30, 2015, 3:05 pm

    “Israel, Land of Creation”

    Early man came out of Africa and civilization started in Mesopotamia, so what does that even mean?

    OMG, did the Jews invent religion too!?

    • Kay24
      September 30, 2015, 4:18 pm

      They are experts at “inventing” justifications to keep the occupation going, and the building of illegal settlements. They have mastered deception, and have the gall to pat themselves on their backs for being so “creative”.

  5. echinococcus
    September 30, 2015, 3:06 pm

    Beautiful! Paying damages for the Balfour declaration.
    This sure is something to push in addition to the tourism interference.
    Good thing computers have been introduced since, as calculating the total amount may have been impossible with mechanical calculators.

  6. Ossinev
    September 30, 2015, 3:55 pm

    “Land of Creation ” !? Surely that should be “Land of Demolition”

  7. just
    September 30, 2015, 9:19 pm

    Great article, Annie. Great action by LVAC!

    Terrible idea by “Magic 105.4”. (I wonder what would happen if a Muslim wins the “prize”… will they be allowed in to the Apartheid and Occupation state by the thugs at BGA? Will they be allowed free movement to travel in the Occupied Palestine?)


    “Billionaire Haim Saban Quits anti-BDS Joint Initiative With Adelson

    Though he gave no reason for pull out, Jewish activists say Saban didn’t like Adelson’s push to the right in initiative meant to counter anti-Israel efforts at U.S. campuses.

    It was supposed to serve as the ultimate proof that the love of Israel
    can bridge even the deepest political divide.

    It included Sheldon Adelson, the Republican Party’s mega-funder and, in some eyes, its kingmaker, and Haim Saban, a close ally and top donor of Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, joining forces and putting aside politics to fight together against attempts to isolate Israel.

    “When it comes to Israel, we are absolutely on the same page,” Saban declared, sitting next to a smiling Adelson in a joint TV interview. “When it comes to this, there is no light between us at all.”

    Three months later, this bipartisan idyllic picture is all but shattered.
    Saban, quietly and unannounced, has pulled out of the major anti-BDS initiative he helped launch with Adelson and has also minimized his role in an Israeli-American organization where both billionaires had been deeply involved. No reason was given for the move, but Jewish activists involved in these initiatives say that at the end of the day it was politics that drove apart the two magnates.

    “He didn’t like that Adelson was pushing the group towards funding right-wing groups that are only speaking in a right-wing echo chamber — and not towards pushing a message that would actually change hearts and minds,” said an official with a Jewish organization involved in the initiative to counter the movement on college campuses to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.

    A spokesman for the Los Angeles-based entertainment billionaire said in a statement that “Haim Saban is focused on a range of philanthropic activities to promote pro-Israel advocacy and tackle efforts to delegitimize Israel.” Among these activities is the Saban Leadership Seminar, which has trained nearly 10,000 pro-Israel student leaders. “In the near term,” the statement continued, “Mr. Saban is also concentrating on the Friends of the IDF and the Saban Forum, both of which have major events in the next few months.”
    Saban declined to address questions from the Forward directly.

    Born in Egypt and raised in Israel, Saban made his fortune in Hollywood as a children’s cartoon entrepreneur. He has since expanded his business empire and has become a household name in Democratic politics, thanks to his persistent support for the Clintons. Through the years, Saban has contributed an estimated $30 million to their political campaigns and has become a close friend of the ultimate power couple. The Clintons are frequent guests at his annual Saban Forum, which meets in Washington to discuss U.S.-Israel relations.

    Saban is a major donor of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Until recently, he was the key funder of the Israeli American Council, which was founded to organize Israeli expatriates living in the United States.

    Saban’s involvement in the IAC forged his first major partnership with Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul who in recent years has established his standing as one of the Republican Party’s single largest donors. A couple of years ago, Adelson began funding IAC (which was initially named the Israel Leadership Council), and alongside Saban he helped relaunch the group as a national organization.

    Last November, at the conclusion of the group’s first national conference, held in Washington, Adelson and Saban shared the stage for an hour-long discussion that revealed similar hawkish views regarding Israel and the Middle East and a fair amount of personal amity.

    This bipartisan partnership was taken to a new level when the two businessmen, alongside Israeli-American real estate developer Adam Milstein, joined forces in the June launch of an ambitious effort to counter BDS efforts on college campuses, dubbed at the time the Campus Maccabees. …”

    lots more @

  8. mariapalestina
    October 1, 2015, 1:34 pm

    I hope the winner is either a Palestinian or a human rights activist known to the hoods who control entry at Ben Gurion airport. Most likely Israel has considered that possibility and taken precautions to make sure there’s no chance any such undesirable can win. It would be a bit tricky for Israel to ballyhoo this contest and then find itself in a position of interrogating, arresting, imprisoning and then deporting the lucky winner.

  9. just
    October 2, 2015, 7:10 am

    “U.S. Finds Kuwait Airline Discriminates Against Israelis

    By refusing to transport an Israeli citizen, U.S. says the airline had violated a different federal law; airline explains that it’s against the law in Kuwait to do business with any Israelis.

    AP — In a challenge to boycotts of Israel, the U.S. government has found that Kuwait Airways unlawfully discriminated against a passenger traveling on an Israeli passport by refusing to sell him a ticket for a New York to London flight.

    Eldad Gatt, an Israeli citizen, complained to the Department of Transportation that in 2013 he was unable to buy a ticket from John F. Kennedy Airport to London Heathrow Airport through Kuwait Airways because the airline’s online booking system prevented him from selecting Israel as his passport-issuing country.

    The department investigated and initially rejected Gatt’s discrimination complaint, according to a statement and letter provided by transportation officials. But when Gatt appealed the department’s decision, the case was reopened and the department ultimately concluded that the airline had violated a different federal law than the one initially cited by Gatt.

    “We considered Mr. Gatt’s claim upon an alternative ground … which holds that an ‘air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person, place, port, or type of traffic in foreign air transportation to unreasonable discrimination,'” Blane Workie, DOT’s assistant general counsel for enforcement said in a letter to the airline.

    By refusing to transport Israeli citizens to and from the U.S. and a third country that accepts Israeli citizens, in this case the United Kingdom, the airline is in violation of the law, the letter said. “We expect (Kuwait Airways) to sell tickets to and transport Israeli citizens between the U.S. and any third country where they are allowed to disembark based on the laws of that country,” Workie said.

    Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the case is a warning that “any airline that wishes to operate in the U.S. should know that we will not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our skies.”…”

    read more:

    Hey America, does Israel/Ben Gurion/El Al discriminate against some people?

    • YoniFalic
      October 2, 2015, 7:47 am

      The decision is almost certainly political and is unlikely to survive appeal to an article III tribunal.

      According to the TSA a valid passport book is the only document accepted as proof of identity for international air travel, no matter where you’re flying to or from.

      If a US air carrier refuses to transport internationally a passenger that does not hold a passport considered valid by the USA, the carrier violates no US law. (In fact, a US air carrier is required by law to refuse to transport internationally a passenger that does not hold a passport considered valid by the US government.)

      It is hard to see how the US can enforce its definition of passport validity on an international air carrier especially when an Israeli citizen could easily obtain a valid UN laissez passer that Kuwait Airlines would recognize.

    • Kay24
      October 2, 2015, 9:14 am

      El Al has been accused of discrimination too. People in glass houses…

      ‘In the wake of a petition urging El Al airlines to protect female passengers from what it says is harassment by ultra-Orthodox male passengers, a New York Conservative rabbi and attorney is calling on unhappy customers to put pressure on airlines by using a U.S. federal law that prohibits discrimination on flights to and from the United States.
      On Tuesday, Rabbi Iris Richman, who founded the group Jewish Voices Together a year and a half ago to address issues of religious pluralism in Israel and the U.S., posted a callout on Facebook quoting “49 U.S. Code § 40127 – Prohibitions on discrimination a) Persons in Air Transportation.” According to this directive, she wrote, “An air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person in air transportation to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or ancestry.”

      …. Meanwhile, the petition signed by some 1,200 people as of Tuesday, having been launched Sunday on, charges that the Israeli airline permits “female passengers to be bullied, harassed and intimidated into switching seats which they rightfully paid for and were assigned to.”

      read more:

  10. Palikari
    October 2, 2015, 7:44 am

    Anti-Israel bigots are acting like a mob.

    Congratulations to the winners! I hope you have a great time in Israel. :)

    • talknic
      October 2, 2015, 8:51 am

      @ Palikari It’s not bigoted to seek to hold a country to its legal obligations under International Law, the UN Charter and relative Conventions.

      It is rather bigoted to choose a nic name that derides a people who seek their legal rights under the Laws Israel agreed to uphold

      • echinococcus
        October 2, 2015, 11:18 am

        Bigot (fr. French,ob. pr from Old Norman ‘be gode’ [by God]): orig. , person of ostentatiously pious and narrow religious observance ; by extension in modern usage: person intolerant of cultural or religious differences; by further, 180-degree distortion in usage by American religious extremists: irreligious person, person who criticizes religion.
        By further distortion in Zionist propaganda usage, critic or opponent of a genocidal political movement called Zionism, itself intolerant to the very presence of any tribal outsider, especially any Palestinian, on Palestinian land.

        Palikari (Greek, anc. παλληκάριον young man assisting a warrior in battle; byz. παλλικάριον > παλικάριον shield-bearer, mod. παλικάρι) orig. courageous young man volunteering to fight; by extension fighter against Turkish rule; in 19th Century Western traveler accounts highway robber; in modern usage strong / handsome young man.
        As used by at least one member of Zionist propaganda, stupid and racist nickname ignorantly chosen for sounding vaguely like some anti-Palestinian slur.

    • eljay
      October 2, 2015, 9:05 am

      || Palikari: Anti-Israel bigots are acting like a mob. … ||

      Why do so many mean and nasty people insist on making it difficult for Israel to be an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent and religion-supremacist state? Can’t they just leave her alone?! :-(

      Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig…

      • Kay24
        October 2, 2015, 10:33 am

        Yeah really, the world should just shut up and accept Israel’s crimes, join it in condemning those they occupy/attack, and believe that they are only doing it for the good of the Palestinian people.
        Is that too much to ask?

  11. just
    October 2, 2015, 9:01 pm

    “Roger Waters to Jon Bon Jovi: “You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby”

    Salon exclusive: “The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored,” writes Waters, challenging Tel Aviv show

    Letter to the pop group Bon Jovi:

    Dear Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres,

    Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

    So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.

    You stand shoulder to shoulder

    With the settler who burned the baby

    With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie

    With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits

    With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach

    With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt

    And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl

    And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide

    You had a chance to stand

    On the side of justice

    With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps

    With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service

    With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom

    With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives

    With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall

    With the legless child growing up in the rubble

    And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all

    Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent …”

  12. John O
    John O
    October 3, 2015, 11:49 am

    Sadly, our Tory government is planning to ban local authorities from any sort of BDS action:

    • annie
      October 3, 2015, 12:26 pm

      Conservative aides said the measure was a response to growing concern about the “militant actions of leftwing councils” that they claimed was spurred on by the Labour leadership.

      oh that’s rich. why not just ban the politics of the opposing party altogether.

      • oldgeezer
        October 3, 2015, 12:49 pm

        Describing purchasing decisions to not buy products produced in settlements that are illegal under international law as militant is also rich.

        Next up, break and enter gang wins security contract.

      • John O
        John O
        October 3, 2015, 12:56 pm

        Quite so, Annie. A lot of their current proposed legislation is designed to stifle opposition.

    • Rodneywatts
      October 3, 2015, 3:39 pm

      Thanks John for link –I’m just catching up a bit, having been away for a while on holiday and celebrating a friend’s70th and my 75th birthday. It is indeed sad that this minority (of total vote) government is taking advantage of our outdated first past the post voting system. Hopefully in the next 5 years we shall see a form of proportional representation as the campaign by Owen Winter gets traction.

      Annie- I am only just reading this piece, which is great, and I have tweeted Magic FM. Your comment here and @oldgeezer’s are spot on.

      Indeed, @oldgeezer, it would appear that the government cabinet office minister Matthew Hancock’s statement is in conflict with the correct advice given by the previous government which points out the dangers arising from trading with or investing in illegal entities. I think @hostage has previously given a legal basis for the care that must be exercised wrt to pension funds.

      • just
        October 3, 2015, 4:49 pm

        Rodneywatts~ happy, happy belated birthday!

      • Rodneywatts
        October 3, 2015, 6:23 pm

        Thank you so much, Just, for your kind wishes, which I appreciate as much as your comments, which help to keep me happy all the time! –wonderful piece by Roger Waters too.

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